(Video link here.) So, er, yes, well, er, we DO have a regifting drawer as well as a gift drawer of stuff we’ve bought because we think it’s universally great. Truth be told, the stuff in the regifting drawer tends to languish, we suspect because it can take a while before we find someone for whom the outlier gift is really appropriate.

To avoid the whole issue, we try hard not to buy frivolous gifts just because we’re supposed to. Here’s our collection of swell, last-minute gift ideas.

Ellen Silverman
Ellen Silverman

Our long-time gift strategy has simplified and de-stressed the holidays greatly: we give a bunch of money to a charity and then give our friends (who generally don’t need more stuff) cards saying that we’ve given money in their names. At ’tis Best you can buy customized gift cards that look like store gift cards, that allow the giftee to choose the charity they prefer. Then we give smallish gifts to a few folks.


Every year, we order 5-pound boxes of sensational Montana-made Bequet sea salt caramels and package them into pretty bags OR just have Bequet ship their gift packs directly to far-flung friends. They are so memorable, giftees hint that they want MORE  The caramels also make great gifts to bring to a party AND to serve at the end of our own holiday parties. If you need them faster than Bequet can ship them, you’ll find the caramels at Amazon (though check the purveyor’s ratings to make sure you get fresh ones).
Bequet sea salt caramel

It’s not too late to make your own homemade food gifts.  Our chocolates are remarkably easy to make, and you can play with wild flavors (you might as well have fun making them).

Ellen Silverman
Ellen Silverman

We are big fans of giving books. Current favorites include just about any of the wonderfully designed Everyman’s Library Pocket Poet series. They are inexpensive so giving several means for some great visuals. We love Dickinson: Poems (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets) and Rilke: Poems.  Read our post about them here.

Emily Dickinson pocket library editions

Another favorite is Yoko Ono’s Acorn, full of surprising and charming mind-expanders. See an example here.  Check out more great gift books in our Shop.

Yoko Ono Acorn cover

We bought ourselves a Quill Pen Calligraphy Pen with 6 nibs and a bottle of Higgins Black India Ink , and find ourselves using it to write daily (it makes journal and sign writing much more fun).

Mira Keras instragram.com@signlaboratory
Mira Keras instragram.com@signlaboratory

A red moleskin notebook makes a fine accompaniment or gift on its own.


One of the BEST gifts we’ve gotten and given, is Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones or Earbuds. They are great for sensitive souls and for folks who fly a lot, or just need an instant way to chill and/or meditate. They aren’t cheap but worth every penny. And we hear Bose has a special replacement program if they get damaged. (Ours haven’t in over two years).


For more ideas, shop our carefully-vetted shop — from compelling books to an ever-popular toy Helicopter. Check out Public Radio’s The Splendid Table interview with Sally about her favorite gift ideas for cooks and eaters.

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3 replies on “Rules of ReGifting + Gifts They Won’t Want to ReGift

  1. I bought a bunch of Korean Tony Moly beauty face masks for last minute gifts. Who doesn’t want to brighten, lighten, and soothe her face? They’re about 3 bucks each.

  2. TONY MOLY face masks. What a great idea!!!!!

  3. I also have a regifting box, and am always careful to put a post-it on each noting the giver/year in case I forget, to avoid hurt feelings/embarrassment at potentially regifting back to the original giver or someone close to them. I’ve often received something that wasn’t useful for me personally, but was perfect for a friend/coworker/etc!

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